The USDA Crop Report released on Sept. 12 made a slight decrease in the expected U.S. corn and soybean production for 2012, as compared to the August USDA estimates, reflecting the severity of the 2012 drought in many areas of the U.S. USDA is now estimating the total 2012 corn production at 10.7 billion bushels, which slightly below the 10.8 billion bushel estimate in August. Total U.S. corn production was 12.3 billion bushels in 2011, 12.5 billion bushels in 2010, and 13.1 billion bushels in 2009. If the 2012 projections hold up, this would be the lowest total U.S. corn production since 2006.
USDA is now estimating the 2012 average U.S. corn yield at 122.8 bu./acre, which is down slightly from the August estimate of 123.4 bu., and would be the lowest average U.S. corn yield since 1995. The 2012 projected national average corn yield would be well below the 2011 U.S. corn yield of 147.2 bu./acre, or the 2010 U.S. corn yield of 152.8 bu. The record U.S. average corn yield was 164.7 bu. in 2009. The decreased U.S. corn yield expectations by USDA are due to extended drought conditions that have persisted in large areas of the Corn Belt and the Great Plains states during much of the 2012 growing season.
The USDA report is estimating total soybean production in 2012 at 2.63 billion bushels, which is also a slight decrease compared to the 2.69-billion-bushel estimate in August. Total U.S. soybean production was 3.06 billion bushels in 2011, 3.33 billion bushels in 2010, and 3.36 billion bushels in 2009. The average U.S. soybean yield for 2012 is now estimated at 35.3 bu./acre, down from the August USDA estimate of 36.1 bu. The 2012 soybean yield estimate is well below the 2011 U.S. soybean yield of 41.5 bu., and the 2010 national soybean yield of 43.5 bu. The record U.S. soybean yield was 44.0 bu./acre in 2009.
Based on the Sept. 12 report, USDA is estimating the 2012 corn yield in Minnesota at 156 bu./acre, which is 1 bu. above the August estimate, and is the same as the 2011 statewide corn yield, but is well below the 2010 record corn yield of 177 bu./acre. USDA is estimating the 2012 average corn yield in Iowa to be 140 bu., which is well below the 2011 corn yield of 172 bu./acre, or the record average state corn yield of 182 bu. in 2008. Illinois is projected to have a 2012 average corn yield of 110 bu./acre, compared to 157 bu. in 2011. Other 2012 estimated corn yields are 100 bu./acre for Indiana, compared to 146 bu. in 2011; 145 bu. in Nebraska, compared to 160 bu. in 2011; and 96 bu./acre in South Dakota, compared to 132 bu. in 2011.
The Sept. 12 report estimated the 2012 Minnesota soybean yield 38 bu./acre, slightly below the 2011 statewide soybean yield of 38.5 bu., and much lower than the 2010 record state average soybean yield of 45 bu./acre. The projected 2011 Iowa soybean yield is estimated at 39 bu./acre, which compares to an average yield of 50.5 bu. in 2011. The estimated 2012 average soybean yield in Illinois is 37 bu./acre, compared to 47 bu. in 2011. Other 2012 state average soybean yields are Indiana at 37 bu./acre, compared to 45 bu. in 2011; Nebraska at 40 bu./acre, compared to 53.5 bu. in 2011; and South Dakota at 28 bu./acre, compared to 37 bu. in 2011.
USDA also released the latest estimates for 2012-2013 carryover stocks of corn, soybeans, and other grains on Sept. 12. USDA is now estimating 2012-2013 U.S. corn ending stocks at 733 million bushels, which is an increase of 83 million bushels from to the Aug. 1 carryover estimate, but would still leave U.S. corn stocks very tight. The expected 2011-2012 final corn ending stocks are estimated at 1.18 billion bushels, which is slightly above the final 2010-2011 corn carryover stocks of 1.12 billion bushels. The level of projected 2011-2012 ending stocks was increased by 160 million bushels from the August estimate, due to decreased feed usage, lower export levels and more new-crop corn available for use prior to Sept. 1, as a result of the early harvest in 2012.
USDA is expecting 2012-2013 soybean carryover stocks to be 115 million bushels, which is the same as the Aug. 1 estimate. The final 2011-2012 soybean ending stocks are projected at 130 million bushels, which compares to the final ending stocks of 215 million bushels in 2010-2011. The projected 2012-2013 soybean ending stocks would be at the lowest level in nine years, since the 2003-2004 USDA marketing year. The estimated 2012-2013 ending stocks for corn and soybeans represent about 24 days of usage for corn and 16 days of usage for soybeans, based on current corn and soybean use estimates in the U.S. for 2012-2013.
USDA is currently estimating the U.S average cash corn price for the 2012-2013 marketing year at $7.20-8.60/bu., or an average of $7.90, which was a decrease of 30¢ from August estimates. The final U.S. average corn price is currently estimated at $6.25 for 2011-2012, compared to $5.18 for 2010-2011, $3.55 in 2009-2010, and $4.06 in 2008-2009.
USDA is projecting the U.S. average cash soybean price for 2012-2013 to be $15-17/bu., resulting in an average soybean price of $16, which is the same as the August estimates. The final U.S. average soybean price for 2011-2012 is currently estimated at $12.45, compared to $11.30 for 2010-2011, $9.59 for 2009-2010, and $9.97 for 2008-2009.
Editor’s note: Kent Thiesse is a former University of Minnesota Extension educator and now is Vice President of MinnStar Bank, Lake Crystal, MN. You can contact him at 507-726-2137 or via e-mail at email@example.com.